Xavier Cortada at the White House

Xavier Cortada, who will be a resident at the Rising Waters Confab (April 27-May 16), visited the White House on April 14, 2015 to deliver a presentation to the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on his use of art to engage science, scientists, and the broader community.

Cortada at White HouseCortada with members of the administration in the OSTP conference room.

Cortada discussed methods he has developed in his artistic practice to inform and engage communities on important environmental concerns, including works addressing biodiversity loss (Biscayne National Park and Miami Science Museum), global climate change (NSF Antarctic residency) and sea level rise (FIU Florida Coastal Everglades LTER).

Cortada also shared how his art-science collaborations have celebrated the role of science in society (CERN/Higgs boson), integrated scientists into broader community conversations (Hubbard Brook LTER/Watershed) and invited the community to participate in science projects (FIU College of Medicine/DNA sequencing).

Prior to the talk, Cortada — joined by FIU Professor Evelyn Gaiser, his science collaborator — met with the president’s science advisor, Dr. John Holdren, in his office. Cortada urged Holdren to integrate the arts into American science: Scientific research can be enhanced by adding artistic perspectives to the problem-solving equation.

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